Residential water restriction FAQs

Stage one water restrictions are still in place

Residential water users cannot:

  • Use an outdoor hose or water blasting device.
Important:
  • The restrictions only apply when connected to the metropolitan water supply network.
  • If you have a rain water or grey water tank you can use that water as you wish ie: you can connect a hose to those tanks and wash your car/vehicle, boat etc.

To report a person or company for misusing water, click the button below.



We've put together a list of frequently asked questions and answers which should cover off any queries regarding residential restrictions. If, however, you want to find out about the amended commercial restrictions or general information, click the relevant button below.


businesses using non potable water

The drought threw a spanner in the works for many operators, forcing them to change tack and switch to non-potable (untreated) water to keep their businesses going. Changes to water restrictions mean that businesses can now use potable water. In saying that, non-potable water is still an option for those who wish to choose that source.

Click here to visit the Exterior Cleaning Industry Association's website and see the companies that have been or are using non-potable water.

And, click here to view our list of companies that were and may still be powered by non-potable water.

water saving tips from a local hero

Water for Life is now your go-to site for water saving

We've made water saving easy by putting all the top tips in one place. Our new website Water for Life shares stories and information about the water that sustains our growing city of Tāmaki Makaurau. The website was launched earlier this year when Auckland was in the grips of the worst drought on record. With our total water storage nowhere near where it should be, we still need everyone to save water, and that’s where Water for Life comes in. You'll meet local water saving heroes like Brent who'll share their tips for reusing and conserving water. Plus, our online resources will offer Aucklanders a better understanding of why we all need to treat water as precious.

Visit the website and start your water saving journey

Residential FAQs

When were water restrictions introduced?
Saturday 16th May 2020.

Who do restrictions apply to?
All properties connected to Auckland’s metropolitan water supply network.

Click the image below to view our metropolitan supply map.
metropolitan water supply map

Who is exempt from restrictions?
The restrictions do not apply to the rural townships of Waiuku, Helensville, Bombay, Muriwai, Snells Algies, Wellsford and Warkworth because they have local water sources.

What water uses are restricted?
Residential water users cannot:

  • Use an outdoor hose or water blasting device when connected to the metropolitan supply network.


Can I still water my garden?
Yes, so long as you do not use an outdoor hose.
For example, you can water your garden using a watering can. Please limit your water use.

We can only restrict activities we can see. For properties with in-ground irrigation systems, we strongly advise that these are switched off.

Can I still wash my vehicle (ie: car, motorbike, van, bus, bicycle)?
Yes, so long as you do not use an outdoor hose.
For example, you can wash your vehicle using a bucket of water. Please limit your water use.

What do I do when flushing my boat engine?
Flush boat engines at marinas using a hose that is connected to the metropolitan network. That hose must be fitted with a trigger nozzle and not be left unattended.

How can I tell if a car wash facility uses recycled water?
Only car wash facilities that use recycled water should be operating. If you are not sure, please ask them.

Can I still wash the outside of my house and windows?
Yes, so long as you do not use an outdoor hose or water blasting device when connected to the metropolitan supply network.
For example, you can wash your house and windows using a bucket of water. Please limit your water use. Alternatively, you may want to consider supporting one of the exterior cleaning companies that are using non-potable (untreated) water. See the list here.

Can i still wash my driveway and footpath?
Yes, so long as you do not use an outdoor hose or water blasting device when connected to the metropolitan supply network. We recommend you use a broom to sweep your driveway and footpath as this does not require water. Alternatively, you may want to consider supporting one of the exterior cleaning companies that are using non-potable (untreated) water. See the list here.

Can I still top-up or fill my pool or spa?

  • Yes, so long as you do not use an outdoor hose when connected to the metropolitan supply network.
There are two options if you wish to employ a water cartage company to deliver water to fill up your pool:
  • You may have non-potable water delivered to your home to fill up your pool. If you choose to do so, please ensure you use the appropriate chemicals to treat the water before using the pool.
  • You may have potable water delivered to your home to fill up your pool.

There are ways to make your pool or spa more water wise. You can:

  • Use a pool cover. A properly fitted pool cover can stop up to 97 per cent of evaporation and reduce the amount of chemicals required to treat the water

  • Check your pool for leaks. A tiny leak can lead to a substantial amount of water loss

  • Maintain the correct chemical balance in your pool and clean it regularly. Top up your pool with rainwater runoff

  • When purchasing a new pool filter, look for a water efficient model. An energy efficient pump can also significantly save on energy costs.


Can my kids still play with water toys or under the sprinkler?
Kids cannot play under the sprinkler as this connects to a hose. There are lots of fun water-based activities they can do. Check out the smart water play ideas put together by the three councils in the Waikato.

What is grey water?

  • Greywater is water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom washbasins, washing machines and laundry tubs.  Watering your landscape with greywater will save drinking water resources.

  • The simplest way to re-use greywater is catching it in a large bendy bucket (the type with two handles) from your shower, washing machine and laundry sink and carrying it outside to use. 

  • Be sure to use eco-friendly soaps/detergents to avoid contamination or reuse the water on non-edible parts of your garden.


Can I install a rainwater tank?
Yes, all property owners have the option of installing rainwater tanks. The installation and maintenance of rainwater tanks is overseen by Auckland Council. Its website has useful information. Click here for the latest news story about how the Council has scrapped consent fees for the installation of rainwater tanks on residential properties.

Why isn't it compulsory for all homes to have rainwater tanks?
While we are happy for homeowners to install rainwater tanks, they are not that useful from a region-wide water planning perspective. Our job is to provide a reliable water supply year-round. Unfortunately, rainwater tanks often run dry during the hot summer months when people are using the most water.

What should I do if I see someone wasting water?
It would be great if you could start a friendly conversation with them and explain that we are in a drought and everyone needs to use water wisely. Or click here to report water misuse.

If I have a question related to the drought or water restrictions, who do I contact?
Please email your enquiry to save-water@water.co.nz

How can I learn about using water wisely?
Our website www.waterforlife.org.nz has lots of tips on how to reduce your water use.